My daughter loves avocado (it was one of the first foods I ever gave her) so she was very excited when she first found Avocado Baby in the library. The book came home so often that I bought her her own copy!
The Story: The Hargarves’ are a sickly family. When their new baby is born he is also very weak and despite Mrs Hargrave’s best efforts he refuses to eat anything. One day she gives the baby an avocado that has mysteriously appeared in the fruit bowl and he starts to get stronger. The baby is so strong that he can break out of his high chair, take his crib apart and he even chases away a burglar. When his brother and sister are bullied in the park he finds an unusual solution to deal with the bullies.
My daughter finds the idea of an extremely strong baby absolutely hilarious. She loves the page where the baby chases the burglar with a broom and she finds the baby’s solution for dealing with the bullies very funny (I won’t spoil it for you by telling you what he does but the bullies do get their comeuppance and it does give the message that bullying is wrong). The story sparked off an interesting discussion with my daughter about what bullies are and where you find them.
Avocado Baby was first published over twenty years ago but it has stood the test of time as the story includes situations familiar to a child with the added twist of the super strong baby. The Avocado Baby in his blue babygro is definitely the star of the story, the rest of the family are secondary to the action. John Burningham’s watercolour illustrations are beautiful and we especially love some of the baby’s expressions, he has a very determined look on his face when he doesn’t like something!
Quote from Jessica (age 5) – “Avocado Baby is a very funny story. I like it when he chases the burglar.”
This is a very gentle but amusing story, a good one for bedtime.
Age Range: 3 to 6
Author / Illustrator: John Burningham